Obligatory post about Canseco

Canseco Is Said to Have Sought Favor to Omit Name – New York Times

Washed up super star needs some money so he writes a tell-all book about all the guys he got into steroids. Washed up superstar creates fervor around the topic but most people blow him off. Subsequent information, some real some circumstantial, about steroid users surfaces and maybe washed up superstar was on to something all along.

Washed up superstar writes another book as another money grab. He also tries to make the first book into a movie but washed up superstar can’t finance it, and can’t find other people to invest in the film that is largely focused on washed up superstar and his proclivity for injecting things into the gluteal regions of himself and other superstars (hard to belive, that sounds like great cinema).

Washed up superstar makes list of guys he played with. Washed up superstar makes a second list after looking at who had the best seasons in 2007 and will garner the most attention. Washed up superstar sees that Magglio Ordonez shows up on both lists.

Washed up superstar calls Ordonez and says pay-up or your name gets dragged through the mud. Ordonez takes the reasonable step of notifying his employer (Dave Dombrowski) and his agent (Scott Boras) who take the reasonable step of contacting federal law enforcement authorities.

That’s the story. Make of it what you will. I’m not going to sit here and say whether or not Ordonez was ever a steroid user. Given what we know and don’t know about MLB over the last decade and a half I think it’s foolish for anybody to make a claim either way. What I do know is that when Canseco was busy naming names in 2005, Ordonez’s name was no where to be found. Then again Ordonez was coming off a season that was lost in large part to a knee injury. His name is much sexier after winning the batting title. Nevermind the fact that it’s been 6 years since the two were teammates, and I’m not entirely sure what 2001 has to do with 2007.

We also know that Ordonez took his claim of extortion to the FBI. In fact that’s the only part of this whole story that is confirmed. And me thinks that going to the feds isn’t something that is done on a whim. It’s also likely to be the only part that will be confirmed. Canseco will continue to make his allegations regardless and he got himself some more publicity – which is really what it’s all about. Canseco will also deny the contact with Ordonez, but the fact that Ordonez went to the authorities tends to make me want to believe Maggs a little more than the guy who is pimping a book. The fact that Ordonez isn’t pressing charges may raise some eyebrows in that he doesn’t want what the FBI finds to become public knowledge. At the same time he just may not want the distraction of a federal investigation either. By the same token, if Ordonez wanted this to just go away why report it at all?

My feelings about Ordonez and steroid use haven’t changed in the slightest. (and for the record those feelings are: “I don’t know. Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t. That’s the way I view pretty much everyone and it doesn’t detract from my enjoyment of the game.”). The only thing that does take a hit is any shred of credibility that Canseco may have earned since the release of his first book. It further reinforces that his crap isn’t journalism or investigative reporting. It’s sensationalism and a guy trying to make a buck and stay in the public eye.

Now let’s get back to talking baseball and why Brandon Inge isn’t returning phone calls.


  1. Chris in Nashville

    January 24, 2008 at 9:55 am

    I just heard this story on Mike and Mike this morning and was stunned. It’s easy to bash Canseco, but the guy basically got the ball rolling on the new steroid policy. But I agree with everything you said. I hope Maggs didn’t take steroids…but if he did, he isn’t now (or at least it isn’t detectable) because there is testing in place now. So really, it doesn’t matter, I just wish Maggs name didn’t come up at all in this whole matter.

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  3. Sam

    January 24, 2008 at 11:57 am

    Little correction there, Billfer: Maggs didn’t go to the FBI. He told Dombrowski that Canseco had contacted him, because he felt like anything even remotely connected to steroids ought to be told to the team first (an impulse I applaud). Dombrowski told the commissioner’s office, and the commissioner’s office is the entity that contacted the FBI. I don’t believe Maggs wanted anything to do with it, legally– he only wanted to make sure the Tigers knew in advance if name-flinging was gonna start up any time soon.

  4. ivantopumpyouup

    January 24, 2008 at 12:32 pm

    If Canseco could just crawl back under the rock from whence he came, that would be ideal.

    And to anyone who might think Magglio being mentioned in the same breath as Canseco is proof he used steroids, because of Juiced, etc: accusation doesn’t equal proof. Eh, Joseph McCarthy?

    You’re welcome for that unnecessary history lesson.

  5. Sam in Grand Rapids

    January 24, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    How does Canseco have any credibility? If he’s had all of this information on Magglio since 2001, then why didn’t it come out in his first book, interview with Mitchell, or testimony before Congress? I think the league should file a defamation of character lawsuit against Canseco if his new book ever hits stands.

  6. Dave

    January 24, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    Clearly, Jose just forgot about all the times he and Magglio discussed steroids until now. You talk to enough people about steroids and it’s all a blur!

  7. Robert in BA

    January 24, 2008 at 6:02 pm

    I have no problem with Maggs if he took steroids before 2003.
    They weren’t against the rules, and any player who believed taking steroids gave himself an advantage over players in the other locker room and still didn’t take steroids didn’t want to win enough for my tastes.

  8. Mat

    January 24, 2008 at 7:14 pm

    Canseco was similarly vilified when his first book came out. Turns out that book deserves much of the credit for exposing the prevalence of steroids in MLB. No “journalists” or “investigative reporters” uncovered the depth of the issue until after Canseco’s book came out. In fact, I recall Dan Patrick and Rob Dibble pleading with Jose to not release this information and telling him not to “do this to himself” (since when are talk radio hosts looking out for athlete’s best interests?).

    Now, Canseco may indeed be lying and just out to get money. I’m not saying he’s a great guy – but, he’s been proven right more than he’s been proven wrong.

    Its natural to defend Maggs, as Tigers fans we can’t not be inclined to side with the guy. I also understand everyone is sick of hearing about steroids in baseball at this point. We don’t know what Maggs did or didn’t do, which is why IMO neutrality is probably the best policy here. This seems a bit of a case of shooting the messenger to me – even if that messenger is a bit of a sleazeball, he probably doesn’t deserve it.

  9. Drew

    January 24, 2008 at 7:49 pm

    Robert in BA: While steroids weren’t against baseball rules in 2003, possession of steroids was a violation of federal law in 2003. As for Mags, who knows what he did. The whole blackmailing part of this story obviously makes Jose look horrible.

  10. PHT in HK

    January 24, 2008 at 9:50 pm

    I agree with our host – It is amazing that the Washed Up Superstar couldn’t get legitimate financing for his movie!

  11. Rings

    January 24, 2008 at 11:57 pm

    Mat, while I agree with your sentiments on being objective…Jose hasn’t been “proven” right in much of anything, aside from the fact that many players used PED’s, which anyone who didn’t have their head buried in the sand already knew. Most players he’s “named” have NOT been independently corraborated or accused.
    And if you think Canseco is anything other than an opportunist, you’re hanging your hat on the wrong guy.
    This thing has become a Salem Witch Trial or a Red Scare – guilt or innocent don’t matter, only accusation – and he’s the chief finger-pointer at the moment, which I’m sure he’ll milk for all its worth. He knows that “names” sell, which gives him a highly motivating factor in his accusations. In addition to having trouble financing his movie, he had his sequel book turned down by his sleazy publisher, citing “standards.” You can do the math.

  12. greg

    January 25, 2008 at 12:24 am


    Robert in BA: While steroids weren’t against baseball rules in 2003, possession of steroids was a violation of federal law in 2003.


    True, but so was tearing off those tags from mattresses, and we all know how serious THAT is.

  13. Chris in Dallas

    January 25, 2008 at 11:41 am

    Just to clarify. Steroids are illegal without a prescription. Baseball has *always* stated that taking any drugs for off-label purposes (e.g. without a prescription) is against the rules. Hence, even prior to 2003, the use of steroids was against baseball rules. Common misconception.

    As for this whole Ordonez-Canseco mud slinging fest, it’s a shame. I don’t know what Maggs did or didn’t do (though at this point I’m more inclined to believe him over Jose if there’s a lack of, you know, evidence), but regardless he’s now in the Steroid Club – at least as far as public opinion is concerned.

  14. BigMax

    January 25, 2008 at 5:30 pm

    Blackmail is a far worse crime then use of steroids. Canseco may have the goods on Magglio — he could have 11,000 text messages proving Magglio used steroids every day — but the attempt to extort money from him is far worse, and a very serious crime.

    The discussion should not be about Jose Canseco’s past semi-credible allegations. Instead, if he’s moved on to blackmail, he ought to be imprisoned.

    Both Dombrowski and Scott Boras (Maggs’ agent) went to the FBI. Good for them. It takes courage to expose blackmail when there may be either rampant speculation or even some truth to the underlying allegations. Note: Maggs’ agent went to the FBI on his behalf.

    If Magglio now becomes the target of suspicion, or worse, Canseco’s blackmail succeeds.

    Am I the only one curious about the list of investors in his movie? Now THAT would be suspicious!

  15. Dave

    January 25, 2008 at 6:09 pm

    Like most people, I’m for Canseco doing whatever he has to do to get his doubtlessly brilliant moving picture version of Juiced to the big screen